South Africa's Zozibini Tunzi named Miss Universe 2019 originally appeared on goodmorningamerica.com
Sunday saw the Miss Universe crown go to South Africa's Zozibini Tunzi. She bested 90 other women competing in the annual pageant that was filmed by Tyler Perry Studios.
People reports that Tunzi is a 26-year-old public relations professional and a gender-based violence activist. While ecstatic about her win, she's more excited how dark-skinned girls will feel when they see her wearing the iconic tiara.
"Society has been programmed for a very long time that never saw beauty in a way that was black girl magic, but now we are slowing moving to a time where women like myself can finally find a place in society, can finally know they’re beautiful," she told reporters.
She also hopes her new title will help bring "a new, fresh and different perspective of what South Africa is."
Tunzi is being credited for her inspirational response to a question from host Steve Harvey about the most important thing we should be teaching young girls today.
"I think the most important thing we should be teaching young girls today is leadership," she said. "It’s something that has been lacking in young girls and women for a very long time. Not because we don’t want to but because of what society has labeled women to be. I think we are the most powerful beings in the world and that we should be given every opportunity, and that is what we should be teaching these young girls, to take up space."
With Tunzi's win comes South Africa's third Miss Universe crown, having won in 1978 and 2017. Miss Puerto Rico Madison Anderson was runner-up while Miss Mexico Sofía Aragón came in third.
It also marks a milestone: for the first time, black women simultaneously hold the titles of Miss Universe, Miss USA, Miss Teen USA and Miss America, with Tunzi, Cheslie Kryst, Kaliegh Garris and Nia Franklin reigning, respectively.